American Monster: Gone Hunting features the case of a former police officer, Albert Pacheco, who murdered his wife, Cathy Pacheco, in Hawaii.
Eighteen years after working as a police officer in Honolulu, Albert began working for the Hawaii County Police Department in January 1991.
Then, in May 1999, he joined the Kona Criminal Investigation Section as a sergeant, but his career ended in 2002 when he was arrested for murder.
On Jan. 4, 2002, Albert was in his patrol car when he began following his 42-year-old wife in her van. When she reached a street in Waikoloa Village, he slammed into her.
Cathy ran off the road, and that’s when Albert got out of his vehicle and shot six to eight times. He then returned to his patrol car and allegedly reloaded before firing another eight to 10 shots.
An autopsy showed that Cathy had been shot in the head multiple times.
Ex-cop Albert Pacheco tried to take his own life in jail
Albert was arrested and held at the Hawaii Community Correctional Center in Hilo, where investigators said he tried to commit suicide.
He was unsuccessful and transported to Hilo Hospital, where he was prescribed antipsychotic medication.
On Jan. 8, he pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder of his wife, first-degree criminal property damage, and first-degree terroristic threatening.
He later pleaded guilty.
Investigators believe the killing stemmed from marital problems between Albert and Cathy. The mother of five ended up moving out of the house and moving in with a friend who lived nearby.
Albert apparently had anger issues, and she was afraid of him.
In February 2001, she told her friends that she wanted to file a restraining order against Albert. But she didn’t go through with it because Albert knew the people who worked at the police department.
Albert Pacheco gets a new sentence
A judge sentenced Albert to at least 40 years in prison, but after serving 20 years, the parole board decided that he could be released early.
Albert’s attorney filed an appeal. He claimed that because Albert was a police officer and because of how the prosecution team delivered evidence in court, he received unfair treatment.
His attorney also said his sentence was improper. The judge agreed and decided to give Albert a new sentence.
When Cathy’s daughter heard the news, she said, “Just complete panic and fear, and so I just immediately went into this fight or flight mode. I thought oh my gosh, he’s getting out.”
In November 2022, the judge decided that Albert would be released in at least nine years.
American Monster: Gone Hunting airs Sunday, January 15 at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.